Seattle Times Editorial Board Doubles Down on Misleading “Death Tax” Editorial

Well, at least they’ve finally responded:

I can’t say I’m surprised, but I am disappointed. As I have painstakingly documented, there is simply no way that the estate tax could have forced the McBride family to sell “the last family farm in Issaquah.” It is simply impossible. And yet the Seattle Times editorial board insists on standing by their blatantly false claim. This can no longer be dismissed as a mere error. It is now confirmed to be a lie.

Shame on them. And let them know.

UPDATE: “Doublechecked with our sources,” my ass! My sources were the public record and the law. Even if the McBride’s say the estate tax forced them to sell, it wouldn’t make it so.

So just to be clear, whichever member of the editorial board wrote this editorial is a shameless lying liar, and if they’re offended by that assertion, I invite them to please, please sue me for defamation for saying so.

UPDATE, UPDATE: Just called Seattle Times to cancel my subscription, even though I don’t have one. Try it. Its funny. 1-800-542-0820.


  1. 1

    Theophrastus spews:

    And you can be sure that they did “doublecheck their sources”,
    (for a special subset of ‘source’) the rest, as you write, is a lie.

    If one wanted to muse further, the critical question might be why they felt any response at all was warranted? We can hope it’s that HA is getting noticed that it’s getting some notice.

    (In six month’s we’ll be stealing Ern…er, Goldy’s nose)

  2. 2

    headless lucy spews:

    They can semantically weasel out of this lie by claiming that the McBride family considered the 12 acres to be their ‘family farm’ and the inheritance taxes due upon the sale of the McBride ‘family farm’ was what they were talking about — although strictly speaking, it was not a farm — it ‘felt’ like they were telling the truth.

  3. 3

    Jimmy spews:

    If their sources confirm the editorial to be correct, that should be explained in detail. The law and public record state otherwise. So given that information, are they relying on other circumstances we are not aware of to make that interpretation? I think an explanation is still owed.

  4. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 More likely “checking their sources” meant calling the McBrides, who repeated they sold their “family farm” to pay “estate taxes.” I wonder if they explained to Riley how their dad’s estate can owe “death taxes” before he’s dead? Of course, what’s probably going on is they’re shuffling assets to AVOID estate taxes — what everyone calls “estate planning.”

  5. 6

    Hanoumatoi spews:

    Goldy: I think what she meant is:

    “A few days ago, I told the American people a farm was sold because of the estate tax. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.”

  6. 7

    ChefJoe spews:

    In other news, Riley’s sources have found the Iraq WMDs and a second JFK assassin on the grassy knoll.

  7. 8

    ChefJoe spews:

    I was going to just send a card with my condolences to Celia Winslow McBride at SE 48th St, Issaquah.

  8. 9

    ChefJoe spews:

    Of course, it’s also possible that Ralph McBride’s wealth is in the $4.5 million dollar land (and $2 million dollars in stocks).

  9. 10

    seatackled spews:

    Couldn’t some enterprising lawyer instigate a class action lawsuit against the Times for failing to provide the accuracy they promise? Imagine all those people canceling their subscriptions looking for a refund.

  10. 12

    Dave spews:

    I’ll have to admit, Kate Riley’s rebuttal has me convinced. Her “there is no mistake here” argument is quite compelling. Indeed, it is almost as good as some of the arguments I’ve heard from novice high school debate teams at the beginning of their first season.

    Goldy, I’m sorry, but your substantiated arguments citing public record references simply do not hold a candle to Riley’s “there is no mistake here” rejoinder No surprise–I’m afraid that’s what you can expect when “David” faces up to a Goliath who surely is bucking for a career advancement as a litigator.

    Seriously, though, it’s like Goldstein showed his Full House while Riley proclaimed, “Oh, but I have a Royal Flush!” while throwing her cards face-down into the deck.

    Oh yeah… definitely. Sure. I belive that…

  11. 14


    @13 You may ask, and the answer is “no,” because A) I didn’t want to make them out as villains, and B) their answer about why they sold isn’t really relevant. The law is the law, and the county assessor’s property records are the record. Ralph McBride’s property was simply not valuable enough to be subject to either the Washington or federal estate tax. Period.

  12. 15

    ChefJoe spews:

    Goldy, an estate includes more than land/house. Ralph’s $1 million in stocks and collection of rare Porsches could have put him over the exemption.

  13. 16


    @15 “All my parents’ wealth was in that land,” Jim McBride told the Seattle Times. Prior to the sale, Ralph McBride’s land was assessed at $666,000.

    I suppose it’s possible that the above assertion is untrue, and McBride has several million dollars in other assets that would be subject to Washington’s estate tax, but that doesn’t make the case for being forced to sell the “farm” to pay the tax on other assets.

  14. 17

    Shapz spews:

    At 14:
    Goldy, your blog says:
    Even if the McBride’s say the estate tax forced them to sell, it wouldn’t make it so.

    A real journalist would interview and get comments from those whose honesty he appears to impugn.

  15. 18


    @17 Go back to my original piece. I don’t impugn the integrity of the McBrides. In fact, I point out that they specifically blamed the property tax, not the estate tax, but the Seattle Times read it the way they wanted to read it. It’s editor’s integrity I impugn.